Mark Appel, the junior pitcher out of Stanford, was expected by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. When he slid all the way down to No. 8, the Pittsburgh Pirates and general manager Neal Huntington jumped at the opportunity to land the 6-foot-5 right-hander from Houston, Texas.
Within the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, however, the Pirates may have to use a large chunk of the money they have available to sign new draft picks in order to land Appell. As John Gupp of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes:
First the Pirates must sign Appel, represented by prominent agent Scott Boras. Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Pirates have roughly $6.56 million to sign the first 11 picks - Cole got an $8 million signing bonus last year - or face harsh penalties for going over the budget amount. It remains to be seen what chunk of the Pirates' allotment it will take to sign a once-projected No. 1 pick.
The Pirates also dealt with Boras last year when they drafted Gerrit Cole with the No.1 overall pick, as Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. Cole signed with the Pirates just 15 minutes before the signing deadline.